Amazing lights, beautiful city

Edinburgh was so beautiful, as expected. We have both been before, but to be there at Christmas was just magical. We stayed in a very central location, just near the castle so it was within walking distance of everything. The apartment was beautiful, here it is on Air bnb , if you are ever interested in visiting Edinburgh. Last two pictures are from the listing.

We spent most of the first day we were there just wandering around admiring the buildings and looking in some nice shops.

We were stunned by the amount of beautiful Christmas lights on all the shops and hotels. There were some absolutely gorgeous displays, including some very innovative light displays on the buildings.

We had tickets for the Botanical Gardens light event on Boxing Day which was also wonderful, a trail through with all different lights shows and music, the photos so not do it justice really as most of the light installations changed colour as well.

One of the best things was the number of gorgeous places to eat, so many stunning architectural gems as well as the food and drink being great. We had delicious gluten free pancakes in the old Assembly Rooms, a company called Stack and Sill, and Bailey’s hot chocolate in a lovely café called Tiles which was the previously the reception area for the Prudential insurance company.

We also visited the gorgeous Café Adaluz for a tapas lunch and had an evening meal in a restaurant, Angel’s Share, that I did chose for its amazing tin tile ceiling and chandeliers. Luckily the food and cocktails were nice as well!

We had a ride on the big wheel and a lovely couple of tours on the big red tour bus which is always a great way to get around a city and find out lots about it.

Another highlight was a visit to a cat café, Maison de Moggy. We had been planning to visit one of these in Japan, so spent a lovely hour having some very delicious Turkish Delight hot chocolate and cake. The visit was a chance to pet the ten cats they have there, including a beautiful Maine Coon, Pauline, that had the most amazing lion like face. This photo at the bottom of her is from the web site as I couldn’t get a good picture while we were there.

I am enjoying my time at my sister’s, I have bought a new sewing machine, with 99 stitches so am looking forward to using that and am knitting my first Little Cotton Rabbits fox.

I am enjoying cuddling up with her lovely cat as well, Scully, she is my sofa companion when I do my studying for my writing courses.

Jacky and I have also been to the gym a few times and I have done my first aquarobics session which was fun. We are having a quiet weekend at home as the weather is a bit rough. My sister is a primary school teacher and has had a busy first week back at work so it is nice to have some quiet time.

I hope that you have all had a nice week, and have a good week ahead. I will be back with the first of my museum series of posts, as I have lots to share with you from all the lovely costume and textiles things I have seen since August. Until then have fun, take care, stay safe, and thanks for visiting.

Bright lights, big city!

Happy New Year to you all, let’s hope 2022 is a year when we can do the simple things like meeting up with family and friends more often without worrying, and plan things without the risk of them being cancelled.

I have been lucky enough to meet up with lots of people over Christmas, seeing all of my ex work colleagues and friends in Marsden before a lovely time in Edinburgh over Christmas with Ellen. I am now staying with my sister in Worcester for a few months and start driving lessons again in a couple of days so wish me luck!

I will post later about Edinburgh but wanted to show you the lovely things in Manchester first. This was a last minute decision as I was going to stay with my brother, but due to the fact that he had to isolate when coming back from Spain decided to go there for a little tour of some of the places I had never visited.

I stayed at the Salford Quays development in a very cute little room in an Ibis Budget hotel. This was only a short tram ride from central Manchester and I got to admire all of the amazing tower blocks on the way in to the city.

The area was created out of the old dockland area from the era when ships used to sail as far as America via the Manchester Shipping Canal, as Manchester is a long way from the sea. It was one of the first urban regenerations in the early 1980s.

Within the modern shopping malls there were some lovely photos of the old docks and the workers are commemorated along the walkways with art and poetry. I spent a lovely couple of hours wandering around the new areas admiring the Christmas lights and the sheer scale of the buildings there.

My first visit was to the Manchester Art Gallery. Their fashion collection is still being developed but they had some beautiful art depicting costume, which I always love looking at.

There were also some very interesting other exhibitions looking at the role of ‘unskilled workers’, particularly during the pandemic.

That afternoon was a visit to the Manchester Jewish Museum, which is housed in the old Spanish/Portuguese Synagogue which was so beautiful. I have never visited a synagogue before so it was very interesting and very well interpreted with oral history recordings from the people that used to worship there.

There was also a separate museum with the history of the many people who had come to Manchester to settle, which was again full of the personal stories and belongings. I love museums like this that tell the history of ordinary people, it is so important that their stories are not lost.

I was also lucky enough to come across The Portico Library, a beautiful little subscription library that was founded in 1806 and had a quick look around. They had a lovely exhibition on ‘polite literature’ and they also have some resources on fiction writing that I am going to follow up on You Tube.

The final visit was to The People’s History Museum, which is a museum about the history of democracy and has many really interesting sections on the struggle for votes and worker’s rights. Some of these I remember well as they happened during my teens and early twenties. They also had a really interesting collection of banners, from the simple home-made ones of the 1970s and 80s to the very elaborate ones of the Victorian and Arts and craft era.

It was a lovely couple of days and it was nice to visit some of the smaller, less well-known museums in the city. After a busy few weeks I am looking forward to a nice quiet time here. I have bought a new sewing machine with lots of decorative stitches and am looking forward to trying that out this coming week so you never know there may be more evidence of crafting on the blog very soon!

I hope that you all have a nice week ahead, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

We interrupt this travel blog to bring you some Christmas stitching!

I have been frantically stitching ten ornaments in the last few weeks and last night put the final stitches in the ribbons and breathed a sigh of relief. Two of them only needed a little finishing and making up but the others were done from scratch.

I did post a while ago about using some of Jenni of Elefantz’s bird designs with some new Scandi fabric but it was difficult to stitch them neatly enough on the felt I had so I decided to go with my tried and trusted JBW Designs.

I forgot to take pictures of the first two as I have left them in Spain for my aunt and mum but this one above that I did for them is one of my favourite designs and I will have to stitch it for my little tree in Spain. I kept a few of my ornaments to take with me and bought a tiny tree so I did have that up for a few days there before I came back. The picture is of my cute children when they were very small!

I love this design, most of the JBW Designs have these little motifs in them which are so cute. Some of the others I have stitched are similar to this, such as the tree one below.

This comes from another JBW Design set, I stitched all three of these this year, each one twice.

The last ornaments I completed were from a new book that I got from Create Nostalgia. They have the best selection of Judy’s designs in the UK and I was able to get this brilliant compilation from them. It is great value at only £19 including postage, as individual design cards retail for about £5 each.

I am planning to stitch more of the cute stockings and little mittens for next year’s ornaments and might find time to do some more of these for me.

As I mentioned previously I did not save any of my Christmas fabric when I was having my sort out of what to take to Spain so I needed to order some more when I got here. I found a great selection packs on Ebay at Fabric 4 Craft . The best thing was that they sell packs of small squares which are perfect for ornaments or little patchwork projects. I particularly love the fabric with all the little motifs on below.

I have been volunteering at the foodbank with Ellen for the last few days. It has again been a very interesting time and nice to do something very useful and worthwhile. They have been doing some more social media recently so here is a photo they did with my lovely daughter on the left.

I am off on a little UK tour tomorrow, mainly in Huddersfield but I will be having a mini break in Manchester and visiting a few museums there.

Until next time have a good week and weekend, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Caceres, the cathedral and church

Unusually for us on a trip to any European city we only visited one church and the cathedral. There were so many other things to see in our three days there so I can share only a little bit of Catholic bling and goldwork with you 😉

The cathedral was in the main square where the market was and was beautiful inside, the light on the stonework was amazing. In contrast to most Spanish churches the main altarpiece was not gold, but a stunning wooden one with a painted ceiling above it.

There was a side chapel with a gold altar and some gorgeous icons, including one with lights which is something I have not seen before.

The museum had some excellent examples of gold work on the priests’ robes and icons. There were also some unusual painted robes, which were done on white satin, and the under robes had beautiful lace edging.

We climbed up a very narrow, twisting route to the bell tower where there were great views over the city. We did happen to be up there as the bells struck, but luckily it was only 1pm, it was very noisy but I love seeing bells in towers like this.

The other church we visited had an extensive collection of belen, nativities, from around the world and was in the process of building their belen, in the middle of the church. Although this was just a small church there were again some beautiful examples of lace and painted ceilings.

I will post about the museums and all the fabulous costume at a later date. I am going to be doing some volunteering this coming week at the food bank with Ellen and then hopefully on Thursday going to visit various friends in Yorkshire. It will be lovely to be travelling again, I have had a whole week in the house as I have been isolating until my Covid test result came through, which is very unusual for me nowadays. I am really looking forward to getting out and about again, though I have enjoyed doing lots of cross stitch for my ornaments this year.

I hope that you have all had a good week, and are looking forward to the festive season if you are celebrating. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Caceres – a step back in time

I organised the trip to Caceres myself, rather than it being a coach trip, which meant a journey across Spain via Madrid on two of their marvellous and very comfortable trains. I love Spanish trains as they look often like birds which I think is deliberate given the name of the train company.

I found our apartment on Booking.com and it is called Apartmentos Turisticos Caceres if you ever fancy a visit there yourselves.

I have visited many old cities but none with the very unique character that Caceres has. As it was built as a walled city it has not been altered within the walls and so you get a very unique sense of what life would have been like. The centre of the city is crammed with churches, palaces and other historic buildings. There are 98 listed on the tourist map, though not all of them are open to visit, some being used as offices for the city. There are 1300 pieces of heraldry on these buildings, like the one below, which is partly why it is a World Heritage site.

We were staying inside this walled city so every step outside our apartment was like being back in the 1500s when the city was being built. The apartment was not decorated in a medieval style, which I would have loved, but was very impressive anyway, with huge thick walls and views across the city. These photos show the view from the apartment and the narrow streets that surround it.

It is also the perfect setting for a medieval market and I will post some pictures of that next time. We love these markets, and have been to many in Spain and this one was huge with lots of stalls and entertainment.

As well as wandering the streets, just soaking in the atmosphere, we also visited some of the palaces which have been turned into museums. I have some gorgeous textiles to show you as well in a later post, from the cathedral and the city museum which had a brilliant section devoted to traditional dress.

One of the palaces had a beautiful garden to visit, with this amazing old tree. I think it might be a fig tree.

We also spent time in the main city square, the Plaza Mayor, which is just outside the walled city. You go through an archway from the walled city and down the steps, past one of the many defensive towers which you can visit to walk round part of the walls.

As with many Spanish cities, the plaza was so lively with bars and restaurants, as well as entertainers who were with the market. We found a lovely tapas bar just off the square, which we visited twice to sample everything on their menu as it was so good.

It was all so beautiful and more than lived up to my expectations for the trip. You know how much I love medieval art and architecture. Although much of the ironwork was quite utilitarian, being defensive, I did find this beautiful door at the first tapas place we ate at, in the palace round the corner from our apartment.

I am now back in the UK, slightly earlier than expected due to a change in travel regulations, so am making the most of my time here at Ellen’s stitching the last of my Christmas ornaments and having a quiet week. Fingers crossed, (if the Day 2 PCR test comes back negative!), I will be off back to Huddersfield at the end of next week for a catch up with friends.

Meanwhile I will be making the most of time here, Ellen is going to try and teach me to crochet a snowflake, which is something I have wanted to do for ages, so watch this space! I will also be back with more of wonderful Caceres soon.

I hope that you all have a good week and weekend ahead, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Adventures on Welsh Railways – Part 2

We had an amazing time at Caceres, it exceeded all expectations and I have a couple of hundred pictures to sort through but for today I am going to finish my UK tour posts, otherwise I will get very confused! My final stop on the tour was the lovely campsite Ynys Faig which I chose both for its location and the fact that it is right next to the railway station.

The journey there was beautiful, as I mentioned in my last post, and although the forecast for the afternoon was bad, the gods of camping were with me and I managed to pitch just before it started raining. I was really lucky with all my camping trips, I managed to pitch and strike in good weather and only got rained on a few times. This five days in Wales was the wettest part of the tour but that is only to be expected. There is a reason it is so lovely and green!

Fairbourne is at the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, with fantastic views behind into the mountains and across to the Llyn Penisula. It is a little village with a couple of shops, including a village store that sells absolutely everything, and great transport links, being on the mainline between North Wales and Birmingham. I also chose the site as the village has a miniature railway, which was used originally for mining in the area but which is now a tourist attraction.

I was in train heaven on the trip as not only was there the Cambrian Coast Railway and the miniature train, which I already knew about, but I also spotted another heritage railway on my way there, at the nearby town of Tywyn. The Talylynn Railway is the world’s first preserved historic railway and was developed for the slate industry. It is a gorgeous trip on the narrow gauge track up into Snowdonia and there is plenty of opportunity to get off and walk to various viewpoints and waterfalls. It was such a fun day out, needless to say I loved it and the whole area.

I also went on the Cambrian Coast Railway to Porthmadog, I have many happy holidays there so didn’t spend much time in the town but just went for the amazing train ride, especially the part where it crosses the bridge over the Barmouth Estuary. The moody weather just added to the dramatic scenery.

Barmouth itself was another day out and I combined this with the miniature Fairbourne railway and a trip across the estuary on the outward journey on a little ferry. On the way back I had a quick boat tour of the estuary and that was lovely, especially seeing the bridge from the boat. This was the wettest day so after a good soaking in Barmouth I was very happy to find a lovely cafe with delicious soup and gluten free cake to dry off in.

My final day was a long walk around the estuary, following a little part of the Cambrian Way along the estuary. Again it was a fantastic walk and I would love to go back and do more of the walk the other way into Snowdon one day.

This is an area that Jacky and I would like to go back to so we have added it to our list. I would definitely go back to Ynys Faig campsite again as it was a lovely friendly little site and the best bit was that I was able to hire a firepit! Due to the rain I only used it for 2 nights but it was brilliant to sit and read while watching the flames.

I have preliminary plans for next year’s tour, I will hopefully return to Wales and am also thinking about more of the South West and North Yorkshire. We have lots of lovely events and festivals already planned so fingers crossed they will all go ahead and I can fit my tour stages in between them. We are also working on our travel plans for Spain for when I return, we have just booked a trip to Galicia in May with a coach tour and are working on a trip to Granada as a postponed 80th birthday trip for Mum.

I really am living the dream here, still can’t believe this is my life. I am sitting here looking out of the window at the most glorious sunshine and am off on a bike ride later this afternoon.

This time last year I had just finished my 9th Saturday of term 1 teaching and would have probably been sitting freezing given the horrible storms they have been having. My heart goes out to all of the people who have had damage, especially my lovely friends who were due to trade at the Ludlow Medieval Market which got cancelled due to storm damage on Friday.

I hope that you are all ok and have had a good week. I have an exciting week ahead, our sewing group has been holding a two day workshop to make an etui, (needlework box), which has been great fun so far. This is a rather messy work in progress shot, the process involves a lot of gluing fabric to card to make the box.

I am going to finish that this coming Weds, and then I am off to see the Christmas lights in Alicante next weekend. I am putting my tiny tree up this week, I did manage to bring a few ornaments over from the UK so am looking forward to having those up for a couple of weeks.

I will be back later in the week with some of the Caceres pictures, until the enjoy your week ahead, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Actual crafting going on!

You’d think I would be posting a bit more about actual makes now I am retired, especially as this is supposed to be a craft blog. I have always posted about travel but obviously that has been the main priority of the last few months, although there has been a little bit of making in between all of the adventures.

The big news is that I have finally learnt how to crochet, after several previous attempts. My lovely daughter Ellen was very patient with me, and after lots of encouragement I got to grips with at least two stitches. I still need more practice on trebles, but have been watching some further videos on Craftsy as I got a very good deal on a year’s membership. I decided to make a project while practising my double crochet, and am very proud of what I have done as my stitches are quite neat. The lovely sparkly variegated wool is from our trip to Alnwick earlier this year.

This is a little pouch for my new crochet hooks, as well as the couple I have bought here, I have a set waiting for me in the UK so hopefully Ellen and I will have the chance to do some more crochet when I spend time with her over Christmas. She is now a crochet genius, and has made so many wonderful things.

As I mentioned last post, some things are more difficult to find here. Wool is no problem as all of the Merca China, (a cross between a pound shop and a homewares shop), have a good selection and there is a lot of basic haberdashery. Fabric shops are few and far between, and the postage and import duty since Brexit makes it very expensive to get mail order, so I am going to have a good stock up when in the UK.

I bought this lovely wool, and some Christmas fabric, at the little craft market I mentioned in my last post. The wool will probably be either some crochet, or dresses for animals. I love variegated wool and the rainbow one is so bright! The other ball is very subtle and beautiful shades so I might use that for crochet if I can decide on a good pattern.

The red fabric is going to be used for this year’s set of ornaments. I was looking for something quick to stitch and decided on some Scandi inspired ones before I found this lovely fabric. I am using one of Jenny of Elefantz’s stitching patterns here. The holly fabric will go to back some cross stitch ones that I have had in progress for a few years.

I have also finally completed another Little Cotton Rabbits project, another elephant this time. This is Edward, and he is my 21st animal and my 5th elephant. He is a present for one of my old colleagues, for her grandson. I love making the little outfits and am now pretty confident at the removable shoes. My current LCR knit is a fox and I will be trying the slippers for the first time for that one.

I will be back next week after our latest adventure, we are going to have a really hard time choosing what to visit, I have been doing the research this morning and there are so many museums and palaces, very excited now.

I hope that you have a good weekend ahead, whatever you are doing have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Adventures on Welsh railways – part 1!

When I was planning my UK tour I spent so many hours trying to work out the best route to take. I wanted to also include some heritage railways as well as some of the scenic routes that I have watched on TV. I love trains and so was very excited to be able to go on some amazing journeys on this trip.

Part of the reason why I chose to visit Tenby is that the trainline goes all the way along the coast. I did not have time to visit all of the places on the route, but did have a trip to Pembroke Castle, the place where Henry Tudor was born. I have visited many castles but few in South Wales and this was a wonderful one, it is so magnificent and really dominates the small town.

The interpretation in the castle was very good, and covered the history of the town as well as the Tudor connections. It has been restored to some extent, and there was a beautiful little herb garden that had been created to show what the original would have been like.

One of the very interesting exhibits was a piece of crewel work telling the story of one of the most famous of medieval knights, William Marshal, who was the first Earl of Pembroke. This was done in crewel work, in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry by Pamela Earl and six other embroiders from Sussex, and the piece took 4 years to stitch.

As well as the castle there are beautiful ponds around the side and beyond which were gorgeous so I spent some time talking to the swans and geese there before the return journey.

I left Tenby a couple of days later and took the train back to Carmarthen, passing the castle there. I then had a fabulous bus journey through the Welsh countryside to Aberystwyth. The Welsh railway network is a little limited in the west of the country but being on the bus was a great way to see some more of the countryside, and we passed through many very cute villages before going along the coast.

It was very hot in Aberystwyth, an unusual for the UK 29 degrees the first day. I had booked accommodation (with an all important laundrette!) for a couple of days, so I had a quiet first day on the beautiful beach reading a brilliant book, The Book of Lost Names. I have done so much reading since I finished work, which I love doing, and the day on the beach was a wonderful relaxing time.

The following day there was a little railway adventure on the cliff railway, which meant that I could have a walk along the Ceredigion Coastal path with stunning views over the Ceredigion Bay and over to the Llyn Peninsula, which is the part of Wales that sticks out into the sea just below Anglesey.

I then loaded up the bags again for a wonderful train ride from Aberystwyth to Fairbourne, along the Cambrian Coast Railway. The views around the Dovey Estuary were amazing and I passed another couple of castles as well on the route.

I will tell you about the last part of the tour a little later on as I had five more brilliant days at a campsite on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park. I have already started planning my trip for next summer, fingers crossed I may have a camper van by then, as I am going to try and pass my driving test when I am back in the UK for 3 months from Jan. However I had so much fun with my little tent and mini camping kit this year, and it all worked so well, I will be just as happy to do another train and bus adventure. Everything I needed for 5 weeks away fitted into the two bags in the picture below, plus a small rucksack with my books, knitting and IT supplies, so it was a great test of what I could do by train.

We are off on a Spanish train adventure this week, we are going to the medieval walled town of Caceres, in Northern Spain, another trip inspired by travel vloggers, this time Spain Revealed. I am very excited to be doing this, we are going to stay in an apartment within the old part of the city so I will have a wonderful time looking at old buildings, cathedrals and museums! So many lovely things happening, and I am so lucky to be able to be doing all this, it really is a dream come true.

I have also been doing a little crafting, Ellen taught me to crochet while she was here and I have nearly finished my first project. I am also getting sorted with Christmas ornaments, not helped by the fact that I gave away all my Christmas fabric and most of the charms and beads. For some reason I didn’t think that I would be making ornaments here! I have managed to find some things here in the local shops and a very kind new friend from my sewing group took me to a craft market this week where I bought a bit of material. I will stock up on things when I am in the UK as I have the potential to get more storage here. It will never quite be the old craft room proportions but there will be room for a little more stash 😉

I hope that you are all well and happy too, and have a good week ahead. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

November sun

I am still getting used to the fact that it is so bright and sunny here, even with the clocks going back we still have daylight until about 6.30pm and the temperatures have been back in the high 20s this week. Ellen has been here and we have had a lovely week, we have been for a walk around the salt lakes to see the birds, including lots of flamingos, had a swim in the sea, been on a couple of coach trips and to the spa.

The sunshine makes me feel so good, although I don’t like it really hot as I burn easily, waking up to blue skies is wonderful. We have had a couple of very impressive thunderstorms with really good lightening, so it does rain sometimes here, but mostly at night.

It was a beautiful day for both our coach trips. We went to the medieval market in a little town in the mountains and to the old town in Altea, which is a beautiful little coastal town with a famous church. The sky was so blue all day and we had wonderful views across to the rock at Calpe.

We went to the church after a delicious tapas lunch at this restaurant in one of the old town houses. We just came across it on our walk up to the church, and it had the most beautiful decor and really delicious food, these are one of our favourite tapas dishes, croquetas.

The church is stunning, both outside and in, the tiles on the roof are very traditional on churches in this area and there were a beautiful selection of statues in the alcoves.

We loved wandering around the streets up to and beyond the church and there were some beautiful little houses . The views of the mountains and the sea were brilliant.

There are some really lovely shops with quirky displays, the umbrellas on this one are gorgeous!

As always there were some stunning doors, I think that this first picture is my all time favourite door, so far.

Ellen left today so I have been busy with some gardening, all of the cacti at the front of my house have been removed and instead I now have beautiful pots with geraniums in. I need to get on with some more decorating as I only have five weeks now before I return to the UK.

I plan to go on a longer bike ride tomorrow as it is going to be about 19 degrees so am looking forward to that. I have also almost finished putting together my latest knitted elephant. Ellen has attempted to teach me to crochet as well, while she has been here so I am going to fit in a bit of practise with that each day as well.

I hope that you have had a good week and are having a nice relaxing weekend. I will be back later in the week with some more of my UK tour pictures. Have fun whatever you are doing, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Mi casa bonita

I am trying to use as much Spanish as I can every day, as well as using my Duolingo app and watching You Tube videos for grammar information, hence the title of my post, as my house is looking very pretty now. I have not had a huge amount to do to it, as I did a major declutter at Christmas, but I have got some new white goods which makes the living area look much more spacious and tidier than before.

The previous layout had a large and very old fridge freezer with a microwave on top, at the end of the lounge units, and the lounge storage was scattered around the room. This really made the place look more cluttered and I was determined to try and get a more streamlined space.

I also had an old bulky TV there which I only ever used for the occasional DVD. Now I have lovely Spanish internet I am back to using my laptop for Amazon and Netflix so have done away with that.

I moved all of the units together onto the one wall and replaced the old fridge with a smaller fridge freezer where the washing machine was. I now have a top loader near the entrance to the bathroom, which works brilliantly. I also found some lovely stickers to go on the kitchen tiles which go perfectly with the new storage jars I have.

The coffee table was from my Mum. She and my aunt often give me furniture and it is great space for crafting as I have my WIP projects and sewing box on the lower shelf.

I was looking for something to go on the wall above the new washing machine, as I have picture hooks in the wall there, and came across this gorgeous door picture at one of the local home stores.

It is the perfect colour and you know how much I love beautiful doors! I am not sure where it was taken but would guess Morocco, although it could be Southern Spain, as it is very similar to many in the cities there.

I got some new serving dishes from the ceramica at Purellana so they are displayed in the cabinet at the end, and I have brought some of my lounge decorations from the UK as well, so it is all looking very much like home now.

In my bedroom I brought over a new duvet for the bed, which matches the craft room things that I brought from the UK as well.

I had to choose only a small selection from the whole of my old craft room to bring, so the whole stash now fits into one wardrobe, in these three drawer units, two wardrobe drawers below those, and the hanging storage.

The Barbie crew are making themselves at home here, eagerly awaiting some proper storage units so that they can come out of the wardrobe!

We have been to the garden centre twice this week so the terrace is looking very lovely and colourful.

I bought 5 new pots when I was in Purellana, the three fully glazed ones that you can see in the pictures above, and two more of the decorated terracotta ones. I have a lovely selection of my favourite geraniums, some cyclamen, gerbera, kalanchoe, coleus and petunias, and some others that I don’t know the name of.

It is all looking very lovely now, just a few more pots and a firepit/bbq to add to it, and maybe some more solar lights. I do love to sit out in the evenings reading surrounded by solar lights and candles. The above picture also shows the new candle holder that I bought in Purellana, on the right here, which goes beautifully with one that my aunt bought me many years ago for Christmas.

It is very hot again today, it has gone back up to the high 20s and after a very busy few days I am having a day at home, as we will be busy all weekend with my cousin. The knitting group on Tuesday was very lovely, a really nice group of very welcoming people, as knitters so tend to be. There is also a sewing group that meets on Wednesdays that I am going to as well next week. It is lovely to meet people here who share my interests and I am looking forward to getting to know them better over the next couple of months.

I am planning to do some more making up of the latest Little Cotton Rabbits elephant this afternoon, and maybe a bike ride if it cools down this evening. I have Spanish conversation group again tomorrow so that will be a good opportunity to see if I can remember how to say the new things I have learned. Still I am having fun doing it and it is making sure that my brain is not turning to mush in retirement 😉

I hope that you enjoyed the little look at my new things, I am slowly getting the house sorted and getting into a nice routine with lots of fun things to do. I think the whole thing is becoming a little more real to me now, it feels less like a holiday and more like real life now. Especially when I consider that this would have been the start of the really busy marking period at work. To know that I never again have to read any 6,000 word essays is wonderful!

Have a good weekend ahead, hope you have something nice planned. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.